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...he loved being in the company of his FRIENDS and FAMILY.
times he shared with them, when he could just be himself, were probably
the happiest moments of his life. And there can be no doubt that his children
were a great source of joy - he was as devoted to them as his own parents
were to him all his life. Mario Lanza had a circle of loyal friends and
a genuine, caring family. His wife Betty stood by him through all the
infamous "battles royale" of his life, dying an early death
herself - barely half a year after Mario Lanza's passing, it is claimed,
of a broken heart. (Their four children were raised by their grandparents
Maria and Tony, but only Ellisa and Damon* are still around - Colleen
recently died in a car accident and Marc succumbed to a genetic heart
ailment some years ago.)
There are many stories about the difficult temperament that unraveled friendships and working relationships, the cycles of eating binges and punitive diet regimens, the paranoia, and the health problems that ultimately led to his untimely death following a heart attack - in Rome at 38. (Although some have not fully discounted a possible link to the Mafia.) But even only a cursory glance at the published stories reveals inconsistencies in the telling, so that one can legitimately wonder where fact ends and hyperbole takes over - especially given that, at his peak, his every act was fodder for the gossip columns.
Celebrity has its rewards and punishments. Mario Lanza, at a rather young age, happily reaped its spectacular rewards; the great tragedy was he could not escape its dreadful punishments.
the personal controversies of his life are better left to the decoders
of legends. So, let's skip the commentary and stick to the
M U S I C !
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* DAMON LANZA sadly passed away on August 16, 2008.
The FanFaire group extends their heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of BOB DOLFI, Damon Lanza associate and Lanza Legend co-founder who passed away on January 25, 2011.
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